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  #1  
Old 06-13-2013, 10:13 PM
Magell14 Magell14 is offline
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Help Best PMP for the $150-$300 range. I am confused.

I was originally looking at the head-fi forums and getting help from "well known" members of their forums but I think there are some biases on there with regard to what the best PMPs, amps, etc. are so I am here looking to see what other people think. I was originally fixed on the Cowon Z2 but then found out the UI is not very stable. Then, I began seriously looking into the Sony Walkman F series which I liked. But, it then came to my attention that if I wanted better sound quality I should go for brands like Colorfly and their CK4 which then again has a seemingly dysfunctional UI. Now, I am looking at the FiiO X3 and maybe the iBasso DX50, both of which are yet to be released to US buyers.

Any help or input would be greatly appreciated as I have now invested a good amount of time into figuring out what the best PMP is and am utterly confused. Thanks a lot.
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2013, 05:01 AM
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BruceBanner BruceBanner is offline
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The FiiO X3 is unknown to us at this time as I've heard no comment, I wasn't even aware of its availability as of yet. Bare in mind Its preliminary battery life is but just 15hrs.

I think i speak for most of use when I say we're all avid fans of;

- Sansa range players (clip/zip and fuze v2, not Fuze+), they would be consider 'budget players, great sound at a low cost entry'. They can be 'Rockboxed' (custom firmware) which opens up the player to greater potential both in sound, UI and features.

- Cowon players for their battery life (some rated as much as 100hrs for audio), great sound quality and DSP's (BBE and Jet Effects), but usually unintuitive UI.

- Sony Players for great sound.

At least in all the years I have hung around these forums these are the options usually presented.
Samsung galaxy players being recommended for those keen on video as well as audio.

Colourfly and Hifiman are frowned upon, high prices for a whole lot of nothing from what I gather.
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HPs: Soundmagic E10's | Hippo VB's | UE 600's | Superlux HD 668B | Superlux HD660 | Sony XBA3 | Sony XBA2VP
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  #3  
Old 06-14-2013, 11:09 AM
Magell14 Magell14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceBanner View Post
The FiiO X3 is unknown to us at this time as I've heard no comment, I wasn't even aware of its availability as of yet. Bare in mind Its preliminary battery life is but just 15hrs.

I think i speak for most of use when I say we're all avid fans of;

- Sansa range players (clip/zip and fuze v2, not Fuze+), they would be consider 'budget players, great sound at a low cost entry'. They can be 'Rockboxed' (custom firmware) which opens up the player to greater potential both in sound, UI and features.

- Cowon players for their battery life (some rated as much as 100hrs for audio), great sound quality and DSP's (BBE and Jet Effects), but usually unintuitive UI.

- Sony Players for great sound.

At least in all the years I have hung around these forums these are the options usually presented.
Samsung galaxy players being recommended for those keen on video as well as audio.

Colourfly and Hifiman are frowned upon, high prices for a whole lot of nothing from what I gather.
Thanks, not that I doubt what you are saying at all but from where/how do you gather that Colorfly and HiFiMAN are "high prices for a whole lot of nothing" because the head-fi forum seem very keen of them? Thanks, I am not saying you are wrong, in fact I am shying away from those brands but before I buy anything I want to know.
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Old 06-14-2013, 01:41 PM
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skamp skamp is offline
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Audiophiles (99% of members on Head-Fi) are "Emperor's New Clothes" type of fools. That's why they're called "audiophools".

Opportunistic chinese (and sometimes american) companies prey on them by designing and building shit gear with shit components with even shittier firmwares that they buy on the cheap, and marketing them as "audiophile grade" with lots of non-sensical audiophile prose. They also inflate the price because to audiophiles, more expensive = better. Objective measurements of those DAPs are, most of the time, either mediocre or downright bad. And even when they're semi-decent, the shit firmware kills it. In any case, they're awfully overpriced.

Don't fall for it. A €40 Clip+ sounds better than those things and works better with a wide range of headphones and IEMs.

Everything I've just said is pretty common knowledge on boards such as this one.
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  #5  
Old 06-14-2013, 01:52 PM
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The Colorfly and HiFiMAN are devices made to cater to a specific sort of "audiophile" that equates high price tags, physical heft, unverifiable marketing claims, and the use (or suggestion) of analog components with tremendous gains in sound quality. Incidentally, much of Head-Fi caters to this same demographic. Measurements have shown that past HiFiMAN devices, in particular, failed to reproduce the full audio spectrum, instead outputting a built-in treble roll-off that its makers qualified (after it was pointed out) as an intentional "analog-esque" sound. People are basically paying an outrageous premium for a form of equalization can be accomplished on practically any standard audio player via a software EQ, but which cannot be undone on the HiFiMAN.

The placebo effect is very real phenomenon, as is post-purchase rationalization. Combine those with an elitist, treasure-hunting audiophile mentality, and you have a recipe for some serious snake oil salesmanship.


EDIT: Oops, skamp got to it first! What he said!
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  #6  
Old 06-14-2013, 02:40 PM
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I needn't bother reply then lol
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HPs: Soundmagic E10's | Hippo VB's | UE 600's | Superlux HD 668B | Superlux HD660 | Sony XBA3 | Sony XBA2VP
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  #7  
Old 06-14-2013, 02:45 PM
Magell14 Magell14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skamp View Post
Audiophiles (99% of members on Head-Fi) are "Emperor's New Clothes" type of fools. That's why they're called "audiophools".

Opportunistic chinese (and sometimes american) companies prey on them by designing and building shit gear with shit components with even shittier firmwares that they buy on the cheap, and marketing them as "audiophile grade" with lots of non-sensical audiophile prose. They also inflate the price because to audiophiles, more expensive = better. Objective measurements of those DAPs are, most of the time, either mediocre or downright bad. And even when they're semi-decent, the shit firmware kills it. In any case, they're awfully overpriced.

Don't fall for it. A €40 Clip+ sounds better than those things and works better with a wide range of headphones and IEMs.

Everything I've just said is pretty common knowledge on boards such as this one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by epithetless View Post
The Colorfly and HiFiMAN are devices made to cater to a specific sort of "audiophile" that equates high price tags, physical heft, unverifiable marketing claims, and the use (or suggestion) of analog components with tremendous gains in sound quality. Incidentally, much of Head-Fi caters to this same demographic. Measurements have shown that past HiFiMAN devices, in particular, failed to reproduce the full audio spectrum, instead outputting a built-in treble roll-off that its makers qualified (after it was pointed out) as an intentional "analog-esque" sound. People are basically paying an outrageous premium for a form of equalization can be accomplished on practically any standard audio player via a software EQ, but which cannot be undone on the HiFiMAN.

The placebo effect is very real phenomenon, as is post-purchase rationalization. Combine those with an elitist, treasure-hunting audiophile mentality, and you have a recipe for some serious snake oil salesmanship.


EDIT: Oops, skamp got to it first! What he said!
It is just hard to believe because you guys have one opinion and head-fi has a completely different opinion....is there another forum with a middle opinion haha. I trust what you guys are saying and do not want to put $200 plus into all these International (Japanese, Korean, etc.) PMP but at the same time they are well reviewed on websites like B&H and Amazon. Nevertheless, I think I have decided to go with the Sony Walkman F Series as it has a dependable UI (unlike many of these other PMPs) and seemingly good audio quality (but with your mentality, are you saying the audio quality is probably little to no better than a Sansa Clip?). Anyways, before I go ahead with my purchase, would a portable amp be a waste of money? I am looking at the C&C BH2 Amp to "attach" to the back of my walkman.

Thanks a lot

Last edited by Syndrome; 06-14-2013 at 08:35 PM.
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2013, 03:04 PM
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BruceBanner BruceBanner is offline
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"Measurements have shown that past HiFiMAN devices, in particular, failed to reproduce the full audio spectrum"

I think that is all the proof you need, measurements don't lie, people do.

My journey kinda started with the Sansa clip range, once rockboxed (and i can't recommend this course of action enough) the device really opens up to being a really powerful player. But after awhile I had some extra pocket money lying around and so I wanted to try something else, I ended up buying a Cowon iaudio 9.

Now my more knowledgeable friends here assure me that the i9 compared to the Sansa clip are almost identical in sound quality (proof through testing). To my ears the Cowon sounded better on first hearing (neutral, no DSP's applied) but i'm willing to believe I was experiencing the 'placebo effect'.
But Cowon's are known for containing some of the best DSP's on the market (BBE and Jet Effect tweaks) and it's these elements that make it my favourite player to date.
It seems to me you have two types of peoples here, those that prefer everything neutral and those that like to tweak a little and gain something from DSPs (and then those like me who have no taste and completely abuse the DSPs hahahah).
You have to figure out what kinda listener you are.

Personally I would start with a sansa clip/zip or Fuze V2 (if u can still get a hand on one), they are the 'bread and butter player' imo and a great place to launch yerself from with little price gamble.
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  #9  
Old 06-14-2013, 03:47 PM
Magell14 Magell14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceBanner View Post
"Measurements have shown that past HiFiMAN devices, in particular, failed to reproduce the full audio spectrum"

I think that is all the proof you need, measurements don't lie, people do.

My journey kinda started with the Sansa clip range, once rockboxed (and i can't recommend this course of action enough) the device really opens up to being a really powerful player. But after awhile I had some extra pocket money lying around and so I wanted to try something else, I ended up buying a Cowon iaudio 9.

Now my more knowledgeable friends here assure me that the i9 compared to the Sansa clip are almost identical in sound quality (proof through testing). To my ears the Cowon sounded better on first hearing (neutral, no DSP's applied) but i'm willing to believe I was experiencing the 'placebo effect'.
But Cowon's are known for containing some of the best DSP's on the market (BBE and Jet Effect tweaks) and it's these elements that make it my favourite player to date.
It seems to me you have two types of peoples here, those that prefer everything neutral and those that like to tweak a little and gain something from DSPs (and then those like me who have no taste and completely abuse the DSPs hahahah).
You have to figure out what kinda listener you are.

Personally I would start with a sansa clip/zip or Fuze V2 (if u can still get a hand on one), they are the 'bread and butter player' imo and a great place to launch yerself from with little price gamble.
Thanks for the informative response. Their are so many factors to consider before I finally decide but one thing is for sure, I am not buying a HiFiMAN...along with the data you guys provided me, the players look clunky and the UI is seemingly comparable to that of an mp3 player one might find in the 1980's haha.
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  #10  
Old 06-14-2013, 05:16 PM
JK98 JK98 is offline
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The Sony players are missing a card slot though, which even the $35 Clip+ has. The newer Sony models also tend not to have nearly as much battery life as their older models. a Rockboxed Clip Zip for under $40 is hard to beat. The only real negative for it as far as audio players go is only around 15 hours of battery life. Do you want a player for audio only, or do you also want to view video and photos? I hate the idea of buying a player without a card slot, especially if it has less than 32GB built in. The 32GB Sony players are expensive, while some of their 16GB ones aren't that expensive. I guess I could live with just 16GB if I had to. For long battery life and a card slot, look at the Cowon C2. A 16GB C2 is around $150. Personally I would prefer at least 4 Clip Zip players that I could get for under $150(I buy them when they are on sale).
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  #11  
Old 06-14-2013, 09:43 PM
dgb52 dgb52 is offline
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Buy the Sony or the Sansa and spend the rest of your budget on a nice pair of headphones
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